2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee: Arizona's Nila Dhinaker sets sight on top 40 and Washington, DC

GILBERT, AZ - A 12-year-old girl from Gilbert is in the nation's capital to compete against more than 200 peers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Nila Dhinaker won the district, regional and Arizona state spelling bees to earn her a spot in the national bee.

"Just totally in shock, I was so surprised that I won. All I can do now is prepare and prepare," she said.

Leading up to the bee, Dhinaker has been studying the dictionary and taking spelling quizzes given by her dad.

"I've had a lot of people that I have no idea who they are, but they come up and congratulate me," she said.

When she's not spelling, Dhinaker can be found practicing the French horn for band or the viola in orchestra, and is also a regular member of karate, drama club, Girls Scouts, color guard, ice skating and swimming.

Quite the busy schedule!

The 12-year-old's parents couldn't be more proud... and a little bit nervous, too.

"If I would have been in that tournament, I would have been out in round four," her dad said, laughing.

Dhinaker has set a personal goal to make it into the top 40, although one of her teachers believes the student will make it into the top 5.

"I'm just really excited to represent the Higley Unified School District and the school," Nila said.

Alessandro Luis Bolus from Window Rock, Ariz., is also competing in the spelling bee.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will air on May 28 and 29 on ESPN3.

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